Mima’s serves up a Taste of Cuba

Thu. January 18, 2024 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Chicago Restaurant Week highlights almost 400 dining establishments with exclusive prix-fixe menus from January 19 - February 4, 2024. For the 17th time, guests can experience what the Windy City can provide in its vast culinary landscape.

Mima's Taste of Cuba is one of the participating restaurants in the program and the owners generously gave more than a taste recently.

Located at 2925 West Irving Park Road on the corner of Richmond Street lies an oasis from the cold. This brightly colored venue is surrounded with hand-painted art and eclectic murals displaying a rich cultural heritage. This not only gives homage to celebrated singers from the past like Celia Cruz but transports diners to la Isla de la Juventud.

Owners Billy and Jamie Alvarez have curated a menu with fresh ingredients that harken back to ancestors such as the Ropa Vieja from grandmother's original recipe. In Cuban culture, Mima is a reference to grandma as well as the verb mimar, which means to pamper. This perfectly describes the attentive staff housed within Taste of Cuba.

Start off the day with a quick breakfast sandwich starting at 8 a.m. and wake up with a strong Cuban coffee. The Breakfast Jibarito will hit the spot with ham, cheese and fried plantains.

Jibarito means hillbilly in Puerto Rican and Chicago's version does a double deep fry of the plantain after being smashed.

For Chicago Restaurant Week 2024 visitors to Mima's may partake in a special deal for $59, not including tax and gratuity, per person. The choice of appetizers is two chicken or beef empanadas and one yuca frita, which is a plate full of fried yuca with a side of sauce. The empanadas are packed with meat that will stir up the appetite.

The entree includes grilled chicken and shrimp or surf and turf of skirt steak and lobster. Both are served with white rice and beans on the side accompanied by tostones (fried plantains) or maduros (cooked bananas).

For dessert, the key lime pie and coconut flan are brought in from an outside vendor who makes them from scratch.

Wash it all down with a Cuban concoction, among them is a mouth-watering passion fruit mojito and the dragon fruit-focused Mima's Punch.

The environment created by the team at Mima's will resonate with anyone who enters. There's a sense of family history and a feeling of being at home in the dining room. That vibe will expand outside to the patio when the weather warms up. Until then there's a unique promotion to sample all that Taste of Cuba has to offer.

Visit for more on Mima's and explore for more participating restaurants during Restaurant Week.